Second Hand Road Bike

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Second Hand Road Bike

Postby rooboy » Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:59 pm

I can pick up a giant mcr road bike cheap.
I only want to use it for rides with a mate once or twice a week.
Is thier any known wear issues/problems to look out for in this bike?
Also will I find better value elsewhere for a couple of hundred bucks.
What did they go for new?
I think it is 1999 vintage
Cheers
Rooboy
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by BNA » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:11 am

BNA
 

Postby europa » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:11 am

I can't offer anything specific to that bike.

However, I can offer some general thoughts on second hand bikes.

Check how well it has been maintained - do this by observation. The level of maintainance will dictate how much life is left in the bits - an abused chain would suggest that bearings have been ignored too and likely to cause problems. The bloke might be fastidious, but he might be a mechanical clutz and hence you're in for expense. Equally, the bike might be filthy and scratched but with immacuately maintained bits - it's filthy and scratched because it's well used. Most bikes fall between these two extremes.

What needs replacing now and what will need replacing in the near future? Rusty cables are relatively cheap and not hard to do yourself but it adds to the purchase price. Same with brake pads. If the chain's dead you'll need a new cassette (not cheap) and if the chain has been ignored, what are the chainrings like, particularly if he's been riding with a crossed chain? Tyres aren't pricey either, but they add to the 'purchase' bill.

There is nothing wrong with buying a bike that needs a complete makeover, but you need to consider the total cost.

Compare the shifting with a new bike - if these shifters are slow, sticky, glitchy, if the levers need an unusual ammount of effort, you're in trouble ... but they might just need a clean and an adjust, but ask yourself, why didn't the owner do it?

Spin the wheels. They should spin freely - no rough spots (bearings). There should be no wobble (wheel out of true but make sure it's the wheel because a misfitting tyre can give the same impression). Run a key over the spokes - they should all make a similar sound (you will find variation, possibly quite a bit, what you don't want are very loose ones or very tight ones). Check for broken spokes and ask about any new spokes you see. Check the rims for damage.

If there is ANY frame damage, don't touch it. A biff hard enough to damamge the frame has likely hurt other things as well and there might be cracks lurking where you can't see them.

Ride the thing and ride it well. If there are ANY issues at all, it is going to cost you so factor that cost into your price. Don't fool yourself that you can live with something - if you've noticed it now you probably won't.

Finally, why is the bike being sold. Every sale is for a 'genuine' reason - sometimes it's because the owner doesn't need it any more, sometimes it's because he's been told the bottom bracket is about to die and he's decided he wants to move it on before it does.

Have fun. Bikes aren't complicated or scary - but you do need to be aware of what you are going to wind up spending.

Richard
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